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May I Suggest Mentoring?
Thanks for sharing these important and highly appropriate words and thoughts. I could not agree more.
I've given money before, done volunteer work, and participated in some other philanthropic endeavors, but one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever been blessed with is the mentoring of a student and adolescent. I started with him in 8th grade and have made a 5 year commitment to him through his high school graduation (though I'm sure we'll stay in touch after that). We're currently in our second year together.
This is in conjunction with a great program here in southern California that seeks to help kids who do not have the best life at home or financially speaking. In most cases, no one in their family has ever attended college, or even thought about it.
Did you know that in California alone, there are *75,000* kids on the waiting list for a mentor? So when you extend that figure to the rest of the USA and the rest of the world, we're literally talking MILLIONS of kids who could use a mentor.
By spending one on one time with an impressionable teenager...encouraging him...motivating him...inspiring him...exposing him to cultural events and opportunities...and most of all, just listening and being there...you can make an unbelievable impact.
And as much of an impact as I've been told I've made on this boy's life, I feel like it's been every bit as rewarding for me, if not more. There's just something magical about seeing life through the eyes of a wide eyed kid who's got 80% of his life still ahead of him.
OK, I'll get off my soapbox now :). I just thought that in light of Dien's important comments and the circumstances of this day, that I'd share a great experience that's become a big part of my life...and encourage others to consider mentoring as well.
Thanks for the opportunity to share.
All the best,
> I know I was in shock, and so were many
> others. Here on Sowpub, many were in shock -
> it took many of us many months to start to
> recover. We searched into what the purpose
> of our lives was - are we truly living our
> lives for a fulfilling purpose?
> When you live a fulfilling life, it means
> that when you have something, you give
> something back to others. The community
> around you played a part in your success -
> you can help pay back society by giving
> something back.
> There are many ways to give something back
> to society. The easiest way is just to give
> money. You can donate your money to local
> charities or to international organizations
> - whichever you feel most comfortable with.
> Another way is to help others who are in
> need. You can also teach others, by sharing
> your knowledge to help others to better
> their own lives. Giving a gift to someone in
> need is the best kind of gift there is -
> sometimes the best gifts are non-material
> gifts, such as giving your knowledge or just
> giving your support. It can mean a lot to
> many people.
> Do what you feel is best. One person I know
> works regularly in a free soup kitchen.
> Another person I know does regular work with
> the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
> program. And others I know are simply
> generous with their time and knowledge to
> those who are not doing as well as they are.
> I'm going to start working harder to help
> others as well. There's no reason to delay
> taking action. I hope these words spur many
> of us into action too.
> Dien Rice
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